LiFE MAT and Partners School Direct Social Sciences (2PF7)

Postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS)

Accredited body
University of Leicester
Financial support
Student finance if you’re eligible

A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS) will allow you to teach in state schools in England and may allow you to teach in other parts of the UK.

It may also allow you to teach overseas, though you should always check what qualifications are needed in the country you’d like to teach in.

Many PGCE courses include credits that count toward a Master’s degree.

Age range
11 to 18 - secondary
Course length
1 year - full time
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

LiFE MAT and Partners School Direct PGCE, in partnership with the University of Leicester to offer School Direct Primary PGCE and the School Direct Secondary PGCE.

Students on the School Direct PGCE course follow a broadly similar course to students on the University-led route. They spend the same amount of time on school placements, study side-by-side at the University for most of their taught sessions and receive the same high quality support from University tutors throughout the course.

  • PGCE and 90 credits at Masters Level awarded by the University and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) awarded by NCTL OR
  • PGCE and QTS.

LiFE MAT and Partners School Direct trainees have always been successful in securing teaching posts, with many of them gaining employment in partner schools. A good number of our former trainees now have posts of responsibility in schools and work as subject and senior leaders.

School placements

LiFE MAT and Partners School Direct is a wonderful group of nine schools serving many areas of the north and west parts of Leicestershire. Placements school will be within the LiFE MAT and Partners. These schools are judged good or outstanding by Ofsted in at least one area of the areas of inspection and it has been noted that they are schools where students want to learn. The placements are discussed with the trainee and based on partners’ capacity and the availability of experienced staff to act as mentors.

Students have two placements in contrasting schools within the partnership and access to 11-19 age range and key stages 3-5.

The placements are referred to as ‘Phase A’ and ‘Phase B’ placements

  • Phase A - Your first placement is the ‘Phase A’ placement. After induction you will then spend about 8 weeks in this school.

  • Phase B - During your ‘Phase B’ placement you will spend about 16 weeks in your second placement school.

In your placement schools, your subject teaching will be closely monitored and supported by a mentor in the faculty. A senior member of staff, the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) co-ordinator, holds overall responsibility in school for the training of trainee teachers, including tutorials and the provision of opportunities for professional development and whole school concerns - such as the importance and use of technology in the classroom to facilitate learning and reduce workload.

Throughout the year there will be opportunities for LiFE MAT and Partners School Direct trainees to come together to share their experiences and good practice in our CPD days, while on placements. This enriches the experience and builds vital collaboration between trainees and subject areas.


You can select one of the following locations to indicate a preferred placement when you apply.

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
Ashby School
Nottingham Road, Ashby-De-La-Zouch, Leics, LE65 1DT
Bosworth Academy
Leicester Lane, Desford, Leicestershire, LE9 9JL
Brookvale Groby Learning Campus
Ratby Road, Groby, Leicester, LE6 0FP
Countesthorpe Academy
Winchester Road, Countesthorpe, Leics, LE8 5PR
Ibstock Community College
Central Avenue, Ibstock, Leics, LE67 6NE
Ivanhoe College
North Street, Ashby-De-La-Zouch, Leics, LE65 1HX
Main Site
Leicester Lane, Desford, Leicestershire, LE9 9JL
Saint Martins Catholic Academy
Stoke Golding, nuneaton, Warcs, CV13 6HT
South Charnwood High School
Broad Lane, Markfield, Leicestershire, LE67 9TB
The Winstanley School
Kings Way North, Braunstone Town, Leicester, LE3 3BD

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree at class 2:1 or above, or equivalent.

Your degree subject should be in social sciences or a similar subject. Otherwise you’ll need to prove your subject knowledge in some other way.

Grade 4 (C) or above in English and maths, or equivalent qualification.

We’ll consider candidates with pending GCSEs.

We’ll consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test in English or maths.

The tests will be advised by the University of Leicester

Personal qualities

Developing positive relationships, the ability to listen, be sensitive, work collaboratively and to respond to the needs of others is crucial and our selection process pays particular attention to these qualities. Trainees should be able to express their ideas confidently, both orally and in writing and make effective use of technology to support learning. We are looking to recruit individuals who understand the position of trust which teaching puts them in by demonstrating a professional regard for the schools you will work in and for promoting fundamental British values, positive values and attitudes.

Other requirements

Teaching is an intellectually demanding career that requires an ability to analyse and reflect upon experiences. This is likely to be demonstrated in our selection process by applicants expanding on their previous experiences in school settings and displaying a capacity to structure thoughts; to raise and answer related questions both in discussion and in writing. Previous experience in a school setting would therefore be desirable. All candidates will be expected to go through an Enhanced DBS Check.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2023 to 2024 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £16,850

For loan and bursary information -

Please see the University of Leicester website for up to date information.

About the training provider

LiFE MAT and Partners School Direct is a unique partnership of 9 Secondary and 4 Primary schools in Leicestershire with access to 11-19 provision.

We offer a range of experiences where you will develop your potential as a teacher.

Our vision is:

  • To develop outstanding teachers of the future and guide them on a career path within our partnership schools.

  • To enhance and support trainees’ professional development.

  • To provide our trainees with outstanding support and development in a positive and caring environment.

We offer you:

  • An expectation that successful graduates of this programme will be considered for employment in our partnership of schools

  • The maximum possible amount of time working with students and developing the skills to become an outstanding teacher.

  • The earliest possible opportunity to get into classrooms and make a difference to students.

  • Access to the opportunities provided by the LiFE MAT. - which includes 6 of our partnership schools.

Our partnership of schools allows us to be small enough to care and know each trainee really well so that we can identify needs and target support. We encourage our trainees and staff to identify aspirational improvement goals in a supportive workplace culture. Our goal is to create life-long educators who are passionate about the profession and committed to young people.

Interview process

If you are applying for a School Direct PGCE, your application will be considered by both us and the University to which you have applied.

You will be required to attend a individual assessment based at the Partnership lead school. This will include:

  • Facilitating a task with a group of four students
  • A task examining the qualities of a good teacher
  • A subject knowledge task
  • A short presentation on your experience in schools to date
  • An Interview with a Subject Lead and the Director of Learning

Whilst an interview can cause apprehension, ours is designed to be fair and relaxed, and we will look at your suitability to train to teach more than anything else.

It is a chance for you to share with us your knowledge about your chosen phase or subject as well as your enthusiasm for a career in teaching. The interview is a two-way process, and we encourage you to ask questions about our course and the teaching profession.

You will be required to attend a University Interview.

International candidates

You’ll need the right to study in the UK. You already have this if, for example, you:

  • are an Irish citizen
  • have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (you may still be able to apply)
  • have indefinite leave to remain in the UK

If you do not already have the right to study in the UK for the duration of this course, you may need to apply for a Student visa.

To do this, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Before you apply for this course, contact us to check Student visa sponsorship is available. If it is, and you get a place on this course, we’ll help you apply for your visa.

Alternatively, check if you’re eligible for a different type of visa, such as a Graduate or Family visa, that allows you to train to be a teacher without being sponsored.

Find out more about training to teach in England.

International qualifications

If your qualifications come from a non-UK institution, we may want to see a ‘statement of comparability’ from UK ENIC. This will show us how they compare to UK qualifications.

You can call Get Into Teaching on 0800 389 2500 for:

  • guidance on the UK equivalents of your qualifications
  • a free statement of comparability once you’ve submitted your application (if we ask you for this)

Training with disabilities and other needs

Wheelchair access is available on our sites. Please let us know if you have any specific requirements that would support you during your training.

Contact this training provider

01455 822841
Bosworth Academy
Leicester Lane

Support and advice

You can speak to a teacher training adviser for free, dedicated advice. They are all experienced teachers who can give you one-to-one support with your application. They can also help you get school experience, and find events where you can speak to training providers and teachers.

Call Get Into Teaching free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or chat online Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (except public holidays).

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